In the fight against cancer there are many tools to help those affected. Local 5’s Kris Schuller has more on a class being taught at St. Mary’s Hospital – that teaches survivors how to harvest hope.
Inside HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center a gardening class is underway. The students cancer survivors – along with families and friends. People like Angie Herlache, a breast cancer survivor.
“The treatment isn’t always easy, there is a lot of nervousness, a lot of fear of the unknown to what the new normal will be,” said Herlache.
Herlache and these other students are in a class called “Harvesting Hope.”
“Things they need to know to start a garden, how to plan for it, what their needs are for a garden,” said instructor Dan Rocheleau.
Oncology Dietitian Stephanie Lazzari designed the class to show the benefits of planting a garden and incorporating fresh produce into a diet.
“To get people to eat more fruits and vegetables, understand value of a plant-based diet and how that relates to decreasing risk for chronic disease, especially cancer,” said Lazzari.
Rocheleau says gardening not only gives you healthy food but provides a special kind of stress relief that you only find working the soil.
“There’s just you, the earth and the plants and you can talk to anybody you want talk to, even the plants and forget about your troubles,” Rocheleau said.
Three classes in all – held in the hospital’s Cancer Center garden – where the vegetables planted now will be harvested through the fall.
“Lettuces, beets, carrots, try to do a cucumber plant,” Rocheleau said.
Produce grown by cancer survivors like Herlache – harvesting hope for the body as well as the soul.
“Proper nutrition and a good diet can really help your body to prevent some diseases and hopefully some recurrence,” said Herlache.
All the food grown will be donated to local food pantries. You can learn more about the remaining classes @ http://www.Stvincenthospital.org/harvest.